With the wind and the rain and the lightning, soccer workouts come to an early conclusion. Perhaps there'll be time after supper for a brief visit to the frog pond...
Since April, the rains have come. Regularly, steadily, ferociously at times. The pond not only filled this year, it has been refilled, topped off, filled to unprecedented levels. The "ephemeral" pond belies its name this year.
The water beckons, and the frogs and toads respond.
Fowler's toad joins with thousands of its kin in a deafening chorus. The nasal "baaaaa" of hundreds of diminutive eastern narrow-mouthed toads sounds like a pasture full of tiny sheep in mortal peril from some unseen predator stalking the periphery of our flashlight beam.
The chubby little bodies and tiny, pointed mouths of the narrow-mouthed toads give them a comical look, but en masse, they can raise a chorus to drown out the largest bullfrog. More than a few ants will be sacrificed tomorrow to replenish their energy for another night of this...
The squirrel treefrogs are fewer in number tonight, but their missing have been more than replaced by the usually elusive pinewoods treefrogs. Their rapid, mechanical sounding "bek!bek!bek!" echoes from the pines towering above, and rises to a crescendo in the aftermath of each clap of thunder.
The rapid trilling of the gray treefrog has become a bit more scarce since our early June visit as well, but Hunter's lens zeroes in on a loner hunkered down in the grass a bit higher up the ditchbank just before the intensifying lightning forces the watchers to seek refuge in the car.